A Was an Archer  - English Children's Songs - England - Mama Lisa's World: Children's Songs and Rhymes from Around the World  - Intro Image


Here's a slightly different version from The Little Mother Goose (1912), illustrated by Jessie Willcox Smith:

A was an Archer, and shot at a frog,
B was a Butcher, and had a great dog.
C was a Captain, all covered with lace,
D was a Dunce, with a very sad face.
E was an Esquire, with pride on his brow,
F was a Farmer, and followed the plough.
G was a Gamester, who had but ill-luck,
H was a hunter, and hunted a buck.
I was an Innkeeper, who lov'd to bouse*,
J was a Joiner, and built up a house.
K was a King, so mighty and grand,
L was a Lady, who had a white hand.
M was a Miser, who hoarded up his gold,
N was a Nobleman, gallant and bold.
O was an Oysterman, and went about town,
P was a Parson, and wore a black gown.
Q was a Quack, with a wonderful pill,
R was a Robber, who wanted to kill.
S was a Sailor, and spent all he got,
T was a Tinker, and mended a pot.
U was a Usurer, a miserable elf,
V was a Vintner, who drank all himself.
W was a Watchman, and guarded the door,
X was expensive, and so became poor.
Y was a Youth, that did not love school,
Z was a Zan, a poor harmless fool.

*To drink

Thanks and Acknowledgements

This illustration and rhyme can be found in The Nursery Rhyme Book, edited by Andrew Lang and illustrated by L. Leslie Brooke (1897).